The moment you buy a gift you immediately begin imagining how excited the person who receives it will be. You imagine their anticipation as they open it, the smile on their face, and the twinkle in their eye. They may cry, they may hold it close, or they may put it on display, but either way you know that every time they see it they will think of you and know that they are loved.
A bear is one of those special gifts that anyone can enjoy. Whether young or old there is something special about wrapping your arms around it in a hug.
This month’s artist spotlight, Nina Manuel, not only makes adorable bears, she makes bears that give back to the community while fulfilling her mission, “Creating Smiles, One Bear at a Time.”
Nina started Share-A-Bear in 2013 to give back to the community and she offers a one of a kind experience to buyers- the knowledge that for every bear you buy for your loved one, another bear is given to a child in the hospital, along with 1/3 of the proceeds going to charity. That’s a minimum of $10 a bear benefiting organizations like the American Red Cross, the American Cancer society, and Relay For Life, along with a smile on a child’s face during uncertain times in the hospital. Since Share-A-Bear’s start Nina has been able to donate approximately $8,000 dollars and has delivered bears to hospitals and organizations in four states.
Her bears are available in hundreds of colors and designs and can be specialized for any occasion including weddings and birthdays. Her newest line includes memory bears, which is a bear made from an item of your deceased loved one’s clothing to be kept forever. From sport teams, to awareness bears, to minions, cowboys, and bacon, Nina has a special bear for everyone.
With over 1,700 bears sold and just as many donated, Nina shows no sign of slowing. She will be bringing her bears to Rome again for the Winter Art Market in December but until then you can drop by the Last Stop Gift Shop to view our selection.